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Written by Peter Carter

February 24, 2014

A Fokker 100 passenger jet arriving from Perth with 26 passengers and 7 crew suffered substantial damage in a landing accident at Nifty Airport, WA on 19 October 2011 after encountering windshear and landing heavily.
On approach to land at the Nifty mining camp airstrip near Telfer mine (200nm SE of Port Headland) and having deviated due weather before turning on too long final 5km from the runway 12 threshold, the aircraft received a wind shear warning.

As it descended thru 130ft AGL with full flap selected, the aircraft encountered a microburst at about 80 ft AGL that led to a very rapid sink rate and an inescapable heavy landing. The aircraft touched down about 300 m ahead of the aiming point still recording a descent rate of 1000 fpm and with +4.23G vertical acceleration. It bounced, coming to a stop on the runway 450 m past the initial wheel-touch point. Passengers evacuated through the forward door.

The runway 12 approach is known to frequently encounter such conditions but the landing configuration selected was not one which would have allowed a quick recovery from the very high sink rate that the aircraft confronted.

The ATSB found thata performance-decreasing windshear led to the rapid drop in airspeed, high sink rate, undershoot and a hard landing. The aircraft was not fully configured for an approach in known or suspected windshear conditions, reducing its capability to recover from the high sink rate.

The final ATSB report was issued this month.

Categories: Aviation law

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